I’m preparing for the launch of my newest book, Instant Calm (out August 2019). As I get ready for its launch, I have been sifting through helpful information on anxiety – and I wanted to share some basics here!
First of all, it’s likely that everyone feels some form of anxiety at some point in their life. This can be relatively mild such as the nerves you might feel in the lead up to an important interview, or increasing to that feeling of dread when something goes wrong at work and you’re not sure what the outcome will be.
When anxiety can be explained away like in these examples it can be easier to deal with. The interview will be over, the problem at work will play out. It’s when we feel anxiety creeping into our lives for little or no reason that we realize we might need a little extra support.
The symptoms of anxiety can range from the physical, including shortness of breath, a racing heart and inability to think clearly to the emotional including irritability, irrational fear and feeling very up and down.
To counteract anxiety you may find yourself avoiding certain situations and shutting yourself away rather than face real life.
If all this feels familiar, then the good news is that you will be able to do something about it.
The first thing you should always do is tell a trusted friend or family member what’s going on. Dr. Dina Carbonell, a research associate at Simmons College, studied the secrets of people who successfully bounced back from hard times. She tracked 400 people for 25 years, from ages 5 to 30, studying the main characteristics of those who did best in difficult circumstances. Dr. Carbonell reports, “Resilient people identify those who are available, trustworthy and helpful. Then they go towards this light.”
If you’re drinking too much alcohol or caffeine then start cutting this right down. Or you can consider cutting it out completely if you can for a while – and see if that makes any difference. Plus be sure to cut back on sugar which can also add to anxiety and depression.
Try and pick exercise up as a regular habit. We’re not talking about lifting hundreds of pounds in the gym but rather movement that makes your body feel good, like a walk, run or swim. Get into a place where you do this regularly and at the very least it can act as a good distraction from how you’re feeling.
Lack of sleep can greatly increase your stress levels. Try to get 8 hours if you can. Here’s an article to help you with your sleep.
Please keep in mind that your doctor will prescribe you any medication that he or she deems appropriate – and you should always seek the advice of a doctor when it comes to medications. Also keep in mind that some anxiety sufferers rave about CBD Oil, though this will vary from individual to individual. (And you should talk to your doctor about this – especially if you are taking other medications.)
Many studies report that dehydration can increase cortisol levels—the famed stress hormone- which then makes it tougher to deal with stress. So try to drink 8 ounces of water 8 times a day.
Above all, when you’re suffering from anxiety, know that you’re not alone. If you don’t feel able to talk to someone you know, then check out the many helplines out there with counsellors ready and waiting to hear about what’s going on in your life.
Try and incorporate some healthy changes in your life that will give you a fighting chance of reducing anxiety. You will come through this. You will find a way of managing your anxiety back to manageable levels. I’m rooting for you!
Need more support to relax and feel calm? Check out my book!